Thursday, September 2, 2010

Three for Thursday: The Orb Weaver

When Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings wrote about her lady in waiting on last week's Three for Thursday, my comment to her was that I hadn't seen any Argiope spiders in my garden in a long while.  Monday morning, I walked outside to take the measure of the morning and noticed a spiderweb hanging from the gutter on my bedroom patio.  Then I took an involuntary step backwards when I saw that the web had a resident! 

This beautiful and amazing creature was suspended motionless above me, a queen on her throne with nothing to do but look beautiful and amazing.

I've never seen one this big before. Even my daughter was impressed: when I called her to come look, she trudged downstairs and came outside with that jaded attitude of a young adult who is indulging her maternal unit out of the incredible goodness of her heart.  But that changed when Hayley spotted the spider: she took the same involuntary step back that I did. She even served as my hand model to illustrate just how large our new favorite arachnid is.

I've been taking pictures daily, planning ahead for Three for Thursday, and this last picture was taken this morning before I sat down to write this post.  I found Professor Trelawney* not in her usual position but on the move.  I watched as she circumnavigated her web and it took her a half-circuit for me to realize that she was weaving her orb as I watched.  I'm struggling for a word to describe the process and convey to y'all the marvel of simplicity and elegance in her actions.  This picture captured our Cassandra in the act of hooking the new section of web to the old.  As she spins, she stretches the silk with her left hind leg and then, as seen here, uses her right hind leg to tack it down.  She circles the web without pausing to rest, or contemplate whether that last section was equally spaced, until instinct tells her she's done.  Then she resumes her position in the center of her universe, mistress of all she surveys. 


I hope you'll join me in posting Three for Thursday, if not this week, then next!  Pick 3 pictures of plants from your garden ... tell us about 3 books you've read that you want to share ... rant about 3 things that bug the heck out of you ... show us 3 pieces of garden art or 3 photos of egregious crimes against gardening ... have fun, be creative and leave me a comment when your post is up!

*Professor Cassandra Trelawney, the Seer of Harry Potter fame, in whose orb his fate was predicted

12 comments:

Gail said...

She's a beauty! The first time I saw an argiope in my garden I wanted to learn all I could about them~but, nothing I've read surpasses the amazement and wonder I feel when I see them upside down waiting...

My Three For Thursday is up~http://www.clayandlimestone.com/2010/09/advice-for-new-garden-bloggersthree-for.html


gail

Cindy, MCOK said...

Gail, I am so in awe of my Cassandra, although I still jump a little when I walk out that door and spot her. I warned the Executive Producer that she was there and he was not to touch her since I knew his instinct would be to get rid of her. Thanks for posting today!

Leslie said...

I walked through a big web on my way to spread the coffee grounds on the blueberries this morning. I didn't see it in the semi-dark and felt both sad and freaked.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Cindy, thanks for the link love. I think they are among the most beautiful spiders. I caught mine making her web one day. It is fascinating. They are so methodical, and they do it all in high heels. ;)

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

My goodness, she is huge! I don't think I have ever seen one that big! They are amazing creatures, and this seems to be the time of year when they are most visible and busy.

It's September! Only one more month to go until October! YAY!!!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

She's a beauty! Who named her? I laughed when I saw it.

Elizabeth Barrow said...

She's so pretty! I wonder if you will get spiderlings?

David, Melanie and family said...

My Orbs have not been back in years and I don't know why.
I'm almost ready to paint a sign "Orbs Welcome Here" to see if that might do the trick. I love these big spiders. So nice to see one in the area.
I've got my 3 for Thursday up...finally.
David/ Tropical Texana
and yes, I got rain this week as well..albeit some tiny ones. Maybe we're turning the corner on the dry spell.

Commonweeder said...

Cindy - It's been so hot I forgot what day of the week it is, but just wait until next week. We've got a lot of spiders this summer, but none this photogenic.

ginger said...

She must be expecting. That is the coolest marking on its back isn't it?

Rose said...

I remember the first time I found one of these orb weavers in my garden. I was so fascinated by it and had to check out some information on it. But I've never seen one in the act of spinning its web; that must have been amazing to watch.

Cindy, MCOK said...

Leslie, I'm sure your spider got busy weaving. I commend you for worrying about her ... I'd probably be mostly freaked!

Dee, LOL re the high heels ... and they don't get dizzy!

MG, come on, October!

MMD, I named her :-)

Elizabeth, I hope she's in the family way.

David, I'm replying to these on Tuesday morning. Isn't the rain wonderful?

Pat, Cassandra very kindly located herself in an easily photograped spot.

Ginger, the markings fascinate me! Thanks for stopping by MCOK!

Rose, I stood there watching her for several minutes. It looks like a laborious process for her to maneuver that big body!